OLYMPIAN Chukwuebuka Enekwechi is confident that he may end up bringing home a medal tomorrow and enter into Nigerian history books when he competes in the final of the men’s shot put final.
Chukwuebuka, 28, is one of the 12 athletes who have qualified for the final after qualifying with the fourth best throw in the semi finals with a distance of 21.16 metres. Taking place at 3.05am UK time, the shotput event will see 11 other competitors trying to dethrone reigning Olympic champion American Ryan Crouser, who qualified for the finals with an impressive throw of 22.05 metres.
By far the firm favourite to go home with the gold medal, Crouser holds the current men’s shot put world record after he threw 25.6 metres at the US Olympic Trials in June. He also set the Olympic record at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic games with a 22.51 metre throw to win gold.
However, Chukwuebuka believes anything can happen in the final and is hoping to become the first Nigerian man in track and field to win an individual medal at the Olympics. Ranked among the top 12 in the event before the Games, Enekwechi made history on Tuesday when he became the first Nigerian to qualify for the final of the shot put event.
Chukwuebuka said: “I think in a competition anything can happen, so I’m glad that I made the final and I think I have a good chance of performing well. It’s a big honour, I call it the PhD of athletics.
“I was happy I made the final and I get to compete again. People come here and compete one time but I get to compete twice.”
Chukwuebuka, who was born in the US had posted a video on his Instagram page, disclosing that he only had one jersey and had to wash it at night in preparation for the next day’s events. Not perturbed about it, the athlete insists he was just having fun when he posted the comments on social media.